Now that you have a removable brace (appliance) you may have some questions you would like answered.
Will it be painful?
It is likely to be sore for about 3-5 days each time the brace is adjusted. If necessary, painkillers such as the ones you would normally take for a headache, should help – please read the instructions on the packet. If there is an obvious area of soreness due to the brace, ring for an appointment as soon as possible – 01277 848818. Don’t stop wearing the brace or you will have a further 3-5 days of discomfort when you start wearing it again. If it is really too uncomfortable, wear the brace for 2 hours before your next visit and show the orthodontist where it is rubbing.
How else might it affect me?
Your speech will be different at first. Practice speaking with the brace in place, e.g. read out aloud at home on your own. In this way, your speech will return to normal within a couple of days. To begin with you may produce more saliva and have to swallow more than normal. This is quite normal and will quickly pass in a couple of days.
Can I eat normally?
Yes, you should be able to eat normally. It is important you keep the brace in whilst eating unless you are otherwise instructed. Although it may be difficult at first, eating with the brace in place will become easier with time. After each meal, remove the brace and clean/rinse it thoroughly. For your orthodontic treatment to work well and in the shortest possible time, it is important that you take care of your teeth and brace. In order to avoid damage to both, you should;
- avoid sugary snacks/drinks between meals and at bedtime,
- avoid sticky, chewy or hard sweets, mints and sugared chewing gum,
- avoid fizzy drinks (including diet drinks) and large amounts of fruit juice.
- hard or chewy foods – such as apples, carrots and crusty bread – can damage your brace. Avoid them or cut them up first!
What about tooth brushing?
It is important that you brush your teeth well for at least 3 minutes, twice a day. Use a fluoride toothpaste. If possible, carry a brush with you for use after lunch. Take the brace out to clean your teeth. You should also gently clean the brace with a toothbrush and toothpaste over a sink of water, taking care not to damage the wires. To further protect the teeth, use an alcohol free mouthwash at a different time to when you brush your teeth. Avoid eating or rinsing for 20 minutes after using it. Sugary snacks/drinks and poor cleaning of your teeth and brace will lead to permanent damage to your teeth as shown in the picture below.
Can I remove the brace?
Yes, but you should only remove it for cleaning. Do not repeatedly click the brace in and out with your tongue as this will break the wires and increase the length of time the treatment will take.
How long will treatment take?
It usually takes 6-12 months but will vary according to how severe your case is. You may need to progress on to a fixed brace to finish your treatment. Failed and cancelled appointments or repeated breakages of the brace will increase the length of time the treatment will take.
How often will I need an appointment?
You will need regular appointments (usually every 4-5 weeks) during treatment for the brace to be adjusted.
Do I still need to see my regular dentist?
Yes. It will be important you still have check-ups with your regular dentist throughout orthodontic treatment so that your teeth can be checked for decay.
What do I do if I play contact sports?
You should wear a gumshield instead of your removable brace when you play contact sports. This will also be the case if you take part in activities requiring a protective helmet e.g. roller-blading, skateboarding and horse riding. Remove the brace for swimming as well. When not in your mouth, the brace should be kept in a protective box. Ask your orthodontist for further advice.
What if I play a musical instrument?
If you play a wind instrument, particularly the flute or a brass instrument, then you may be advised to remove the brace whilst playing. However, when the brace is not in your mouth it should be kept in a protective box to prevent breakage. You can discuss this further with your music teacher and orthodontist.
Brentwood Orthodontic & Implant Centre is located opposite Brentwood Cathedral and Brentwood School.
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